Music Reviews



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Artist: Grindlestone
Title: One
Format: CD
Label: Noh Poetry Records
Distributor: cdbaby
Rated: *****
"One" is the instrumental project of California artists Doug Erickson and Don Falcone. Consisting of ambient textures with guitar soloing, one can find hints of industrial music with a canopy of loop based samples and self described avant garde approaches. While not always prevalent, their influences are Eno and Fripp, Robert Rich, Bass Communion and Tangerine Dream. Fans of guitar-leaning ambient and tribal experimental music may find this an interesting listen.


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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Monopol Records – The 5th Anniversary Compilation
Format: CD
Label: Monopol Records (@)
Distributor: Monopolrecords Shop
Rated: *****
Some labels do celebrate an anniversary quite silent – regarding the Czech label Monopol Records, I guess only a very few hard-liners of the international Electro/Industrial scene have realized this. It needs to be said, that there has been some silence around this label during the last two years after the release of the last DEPRESSIVE DISORDER studio-album. This may is a logically consequence of the currently uncertain times and the ongoing lack of sales of the physical CD’s – especially young and small labels suffer enormously through this. However, it’s good to see and it warms my heart that Michal Lepsik still hasn’t given up his fight to offer quality Electro/Industrial music especially to the fans and listeners of the Czech and Slovakian and other East-European countries. And the featured content proves his efforts right, because all band take this chance to offer new and for the most unreleased stuff and some of them do really the best they can. The already mentioned DEPRESSIVE DISORDER are still highlighting the label roster and offer with "Apology" a marvelous Dark Electro tune, while the remix of Germany’s THE RORSCHACH GARDEN on "Reality" scores with its minimal EBM bass-lines. The collaboration with Aliens Production out of Slovakia is still alive, as DISHARMONY (they offer a fantastic teaser named "Evolution" of their upcoming new album...), OXYD (the rather Ambient-minded side-project of the both DISHARMONY-protagonists...), FRONTIER GUARDS (featured on here with another great and unreleased cinematic score...), ANHEDONIA ("Evacuation Guidelines", recently on returning with a new album...) and LAST INFLUENCE OF BRAIN (couldn’t decide to continue with the ex-Vendetta-Music side-label E.A.R. and have joint instead the ranks of Aliens...) prove this. Also Monopol’s projects asides DEPRESSIVE DISORDER offer remarkable stuff, MASTERMIND (offer a seducing Electropop-tune...), GREGORY and especially the trio of NO NAME DESIRE are featured and hitting the nail. Plus, there some new and undiscovered names I strongly recommend to follow regarding upcoming activities like MY ASPHYXHIA, INTERFACE SURGERY (isn’t that a DEPRESSIVE DISORDER side-project?) and/or ECLIPSED. A lot of good and interesting stuff to discover, this Monopol Records compilation is a great example and acts like a guide-line for many other labels doing something comparable. Let’s hope the best that we can welcome Michal and his fine label roster with a 6th, 7th, 8th and so on anniversary compilation again.

01 bratri v tracku : photo
02 disharmony : evolution
03 depressive disorder : reality ( the rorschach garden rmx )
04 mastermind : time is out
05 my asphyxia : poison
06 interface surgery : critical impact
07 oxyd : alcasonic
08 last influence of brain : revolution
09 anhedonia : evacuation guidelines
10 gregory : relax
11 eclipsed : countenance
12 no name desire : caustic
13 depressive disorder : apology
14 frontier guards : insider
15 broom carwell : vltima ratio regvm
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Artist: Heimataerde (@)
Title: Unter der Linden / Vater
Format: CD
Label: COP International (@)
Distributor: DDT
Rated: *****
No one can be sure about this, but the German Electro/Industrial project HEIMATAERDE can be the next "big thing" of the scene. Licensed through the German label Infacted Recordings, this special release by COP International unites two EP’s of this mysterious project. The musically mixture out of harsh EBM/Industrial and Medieval music supported by various folk instruments and style-fitting voice samples causes attraction for sure, although the content of this special US-licensed release focuses quite a lot to satisfy the dancefloor-oriented audience. So most of the highly anticipated tracks like "Unter der Linden", "Vater", "Khadavergehorsam" or "Mutter", which made it already onto the dancefloors of the US-based clubs via expensive import releases, can be newly discovered herewith. Good news to those, who are fed up with to many unnecessary remix contributions of foreign act: the complete audio stuff, even if there are different versions ("Unter der Linden", "Vater"). Yes, the protagonist Ashlar von Megalon knows well, what his listeners and growing fan-base prefers. Good stuff, two EP resulting in album length for this special American release, interesting stuff to consume also asides the dancefloors.
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Artist: Schallfaktor
Title: Sittenverfall
Format: CD
Label: COP International (@)
Distributor: DDT
Rated: *****
That's a joke, isn't it? Another license deal between Infacted Recordings and COP International offers us the German/Croatian one-man project SCHALLFAKTOR. Consisting of Drazen Sucic, SCHALLFAKTOR "surprises" with a minimal form of a Harsh Electro sound environment. Beat, lead synth, bass synth and Drazen's highly distorted vocals, which are sounding like the worst used vocal-FX in years. There is nothing attractive else ' it's the purest reincarnation of minimal Hellectro, in its kind foreseeable and cheaply produced, which reminds strong on the defunct VIRTUAL EMBRACE-project of the AGONOIZE-band member Mike Johnson. No own worked-out ideas, all sounds and arrangements are sounding like taken out of the latest Magix sample-loop software. But instead of anything interesting, you'll get the full doze of stupid voice samples (shall these bitches sound "sexy"?), endless repetitions through the usage of same sounds in beats and synths over and over again ' that's purest boredom at complete playing-time. Oh, wait, I nearly forgot to mention the track "Infinity", in which the artist manages hard to seduce with an instrumental tune ' a poor and plain arranged one, yes, but it turns out to be relaxing not to hear that awful vocal abusing once again. The title of this album was chosen perfectly, this is definitely a "Sittenverfall" of a good music taste. At least not the lack of sales is the factor no. 1, which hurts the scene the most ' unnecessary releases like this one are to blame for the degeneration of values and quality.

Jul 04 2009
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Artist: The-Pulsar (@)
Title: Never
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
New album for this Russian trio, which often gets compared as being Russia’s answer on FRONT 242. I wouldn’t completely agree on this, since that Military-outfit and behavior has been always and only the playing field of the Belgian giants in their heydays. But let’s agree that the power and pressure of the sounds THE-PULSAR are capable to awake and press out of their machinery, can be compared in some way with the mighty and fat studio arrangements of 242. This is also the remarkable point in the music of this Russian project: the combination of symphonic and bombastic sounding string and synth-layer sounds offers an unbelievable depth into the music. THE-PULSAR are pretty much based into the veteran sound of some EBM pioneers, although they do not sound dated. The music has of course nothing in common with the overrated Techno/Trance influences of nowadays hypes, but at least also THE-PULSAR show their will to add variations into the strict EBM formula. A bit Dub, a bit 2-Step, a bit Breakbeat thrown in ("Never", "Die For Something", "Blind Vision"), yes, and did I hear here and there some guitar-like sounds? THE-PULSAR seem to have taken the required time to develop in expanding dimensions, none of the tracks is shorter than 5 minutes, some turn to 8 minutes + playing time. Of course, "Never" is their strongest and best work so far, which pushes the band to the top of Russia’s Electro/Industrial scene. With a three-men formation now several live performances seem to be required to undersign this evolution. "Never" is a diverse sounding opus based on an EBM-related foundation, but with several hints to different music styles, which makes it attractive. A wider musically horizon over the normal EBM listening experience of the listener is required for fully satisfaction.
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